The plague of winter’s past is becoming a problem as cold temperatures invade the Tri-State.
Evansville city crews continue to deal with a multitude of water main breaks.
As soon as the cold weather hits, water mains expand and contract, some of those then snapping.
Allen Mounts from Evansville Water and Sewer Utilities says so far this year, they’ve worked ninety-four water main breaks. Luckily, that number is much lower than the 265 from this time last year.
Mount says 60% of the cities water lines are cast iron pipes that are at least ninety years old.
Replacing one of those pipes can be seen near the corner of First and Diamond Avenue, which is one of thirty in the past several days needing fixed.
Mounts says it’s not the ground temperature that typically causes the break, but the temperature of the water coming from the Ohio river. He says as the water gets colder and makes its way into the system, it causes the pipes to expand, contract, and then break
Andrea Fahrlender works across the street from a water main break and says she has noticed the water at her business became aerated with bubbles after the break.
A map of Vanderburgh county shows 1,000 red dots, each representing a water main break from 2012 to 2014. According to Mounts, 500 of those dots came from last year’s harsh winter at a very high cost of well over $500,000.
Mount says this year, they are contracting out some of the work to stay on top of the breaks. He says unfortunately nothing can be done to stop the breaks, so all they can do is repair them.